What Is National Feral Cat Day All About?

Becky Robinson, founder of Alley Cat Allies, shares the reason for National Feral Cat Day.

Posted: October 15, 2010, 3 p.m. EDT

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Q: National Feral Cat Day — What is that all about?

A: We’re glad you asked!

In 2001, Alley Cat Allies started National Feral Cat Day  to educate Americans about stray and feral cats. Today, the tradition continues! Every year on Oct. 16, we celebrate National Feral Cat Day by spreading the word about feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the humane method of managing feral cat colonies and the best thing you can do to improve the lives of feral cats.

National Feral Cat Day isn’t just about the best way to care for cats — it’s also about educating others and expanding the movement. Here are some feral cat facts to share:

• Feral cats have lived outdoors alongside people for 10,000 years.

•  They are the same species as pet cats — Felis catus — but feral cats are not socialized to people, so they cannot be adopted or live in our homes. 

• Feral cats live happily outdoors in social groups called colonies and are just as healthy as outdoor pet cats.

• Because feral cats can’t be adopted, bringing them to shelters or calling animal control is deadly — nearly 100 percent of feral cats entering shelters are killed.

• TNR is the best approach for feral cats because it improves their health, stabilizes the colony and allows the cats to live out their lives in their outdoor homes.

Teaching others the basics about feral cats is just one way you can participate in National Feral Cat Day —  there are all kinds of things you can do to help cats! Here are  a few suggestions:

• Check our National Feral Cat Day event listings to see if there is an event near you. So far, over 140 events have been registered!

• Show the world you’re an “Alley Cat Ally” by participating in our photo pledge.

• Write a blog post or a letter to the editor (or link to this post) about feral cats and TNR.

• Find out your local shelter’s policy for feral cats and ask them to start a TNR program.

• Dedicate your social networking status on Facebook or Twitter to National Feral Cat Day. Copy and paste this message: Be an Alley Cat Ally! Celebrate National Feral Cat Day with me today.

• Print Alley Cat Allies’ downloadable poster and hang it up around town.

• Handout out educational materials at public events or set up an informational table. You can download Alley Cat Allies truth cards for more information.

Thank you for taking part in National Feral Cat Day 2010, and for everything you do for cats all year round.

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Reader Comments

Heidi    Rapid City, SD

11/30/2010 11:25:15 PM

These comments are all very hopeful when dealing with 1 or 2 or 5 ferals but I look at 25 faces every day and know that TNR is the only way. I love each and every one of them.

John    Lakewood, OH

11/22/2010 9:47:25 AM

Unfortunately for many of us there are ferrels all around. This sure can be of service! Thanks CC

Sharon    Ormond Beach, FL

11/1/2010 10:16:20 AM

I have 5 cats...all feral. They are certainly tameable...it takes time and patience. I spent 2 years working on a beautiful cat that lived in the bushes of a large property we purchased. That cat is now the most loving, sweet cat that sits on my lap and loves to be scratched and hugged. Yes, they are afraid at first but are certainly happy when bad weather is howling outside and they have a warm safe home.

Marre    Fontana, CA

10/22/2010 4:32:13 PM

Five years ago I moved to a pet friendly apt complex. There was a beautiful calico(Pretty Girl) totally feral hiss and run. We(my daughter) and I began to feed her and over the span of time she got to where she would not run from us. I was able to adopt two of her litters out. The Poppa was a cat someone just dropped off and they became a couple. Most beautiful kitten you ever laid eyes on! Then I discovered Feralstat and began purchasing it and feeding it to her. It is a birthcontrol developed by a veterinarian to prevent feral cats that aren't spayed from going into heat. 2010 Pretty Girl had no babies!! I arranged for one of the neighbors who plans to live there a while to continue giving her the Feralstat and feed both Pretty Girl and Raunchy!!
We thought of taking her with us but came to realize that the apts were her home. Thank God we didn't try..new neighbors have dogs that bark and she would have been totally scared and lost!!
We went back once and she came as soon as he hear the motor of our car! I love those two cats more than words can express!
I urge all to continue to support feral cats!

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